Coronavirus company news summary – Brazil to spend $356m on University of Oxford’s vaccine – AstraZeneca signs supply deal in China

7 August 2020 (Last Updated August 7th, 2020 09:04)

7 August 2020 

AstraZeneca has partnered with Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products to manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in mainland China, marking its first deal to supply in the country. As part of the deal, Shenzhen Kangtai will have an annual production capacity of at least 100 million doses of the vaccine candidate, AZD1222. AstraZeneca said the Chinese company must have capacity to manufacture at least 200 million doses by the end of next year, under the exclusive framework agreement.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ordered BRL1.9bn ($356m) funds to be set aside to buy and later manufacture the University of Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Brazil acting Health Minister General Eduardo Pazuello expects the vaccine to be available by December or January. Initially, the country would receive 100 million doses, which would help vaccinate 50% of its population.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has started a clinical trial, named ACTT 3, to assess Gilead Sciences' remdesivir plus the immunomodulator interferon beta-1a to treat Covid-19. The study will recruit more than 1,000 hospitalised adults with Covid-19 at approximately 100 sites in the US and internationally. In February, the NIH initiated ACTT study to assess remdesivir as a monotherapy in Covid-19 patients.

CytoDyn is set to submit requests for pre-submission meetings in the UK to seek emergency approval for the use of leronlimab in mild to moderate Covid-19 patients. The company completed a Phase II trial of the drug in this indication and a Phase III study is being conducted in severe to critical Covid-19 patients. Furthermore, CytoDyn intends to seek approval for the drug to treat HIV patients when given with HAART.

SAB Biotherapeutics has received a $35.6m grant from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to support the development of its SAB-185, a new therapeutic to target SARS-CoV-2 without using human donors. The company will use the funds for clinical development and manufacturing of the therapeutic.